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Sean McManus: I’ve Known Since I Was 11 I Wanted to Produce Big Time Sports

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus is going to be retiring next spring, closing the book on a long and storied career in sports television. An interest in live production as a child following his father — legendary broadcaster Jim McKay — laid the foundation for the career McManus wanted to pursue.

The longtime executive was a guest on The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast recently, and McManus recalled attending a PGA Tour event in Jacksonville when he got recruited as a kid by legendary producer Chuck Howard to work as a sweeper.

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Having been around his dad and already having a passion for TV, it was after he received an envelope for $25 for the work he did as a kid that sealed the deal for McManus.

“At that moment I said to myself, if they’re gonna pay me to do this job, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” McManus said. “So I really at age 11 wanted to produce and direct big-time sporting events. Big golf events like The Masters and the PGA Championship and the World Series and the Super Bowl and all these other great events.”

Co-host John Ourand asked Sean McManus to clarify that his love has always been with the production side and that McManus never really wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and be a broadcaster himself.

“I thought that would be a hard act to follow, and I never gravitated towards that,” McManus said. “I really loved the live production much more so than I did behind the microphone.”

Sean McManus added that he realized early on that in order to get your foot in the door as a broadcaster at that time you needed to have gotten your start at a small local station. He just always loved production more.

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